How to Make a Heat Transfer Vinyl Canvas

How to Make a Heat Transfer Vinyl Canvas


Here I am learning more projects for my Brother scan n cut.  I wanted to show you hoe to make a heat transfer vinyl canvas. This is a super simple project that you can make with your scan n cut, cricut, or silhouette.  For this project I used heat transfer vinyl or HTV to make my own artwork and you can too. I know that HTV is typically used to personalize t-shirts but of course canvas is a fabric too so I thought I would use the heat transfer properties of HTV and the cutting properties of my scan n cut to create a nice piece of art.  HTV can be used to personalize other items like hand bags, shoes, wood, leather and of course t-shirts so it is very versatile.  This post contains affiliate links that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  

What you will Need: 

step 1: create your design

Go to your machine’s design canvas workspace and create your design.  I am not going to go into creating a design for this project because the design that I chose was free from the internet. There are thousands of free designs that you can import into your design space to create a piece of art that is perfect for you.  I chose a saying from Cut that design Cut that design is a website that has free SVG cut files that are easily downloadable and inserted into your machine’s software. The cut file will come in a zip file that you will need to open up.  I generally use the SVG file so I pull it out and put it into a folder that I have set up for my SVG designs.  Import the file to your workspace.  

Scan n cut canvas

step 2: SCALE your desigN

Once you have your design you will need to scale it so that it fits the canvas you have chosen.  I chose a 12″ x 12″ canvas because that is the size of my cutting mat and I could do all of this in one cut rather than multiple different cuts.  Fortunately I did not have to scale my design for this project but you may have to depending on the design you choose and your canvas size.  

Step 3: mirror the design

This step is very important.  You must mirror your design because you are cutting on the backside of the vinyl.  Keep in mind that HTV has a shiny, clear plastic carrier sheet that covers the top of the vinyl.  The other side is where the heat-sensitive adhesive is. When you cut the vinyl you are actually cutting on the adhesive side so when the adhesive side is placed down onto your surface it will then be right sides up.  Check out this video.

Step 4: Cut your desigN

I used a pre-cut HTV square for my project but HTV does come in rolls.  You can cut off how much you need.  You can also pick whatever colors you like. I used a navy blue for my project.  This is important!! There is a shiny side and a matte side.  Make sure that the shiny side is placed on your cutting mat.  The shiny side is the carrier layer.  This is the layer that will hold your design when you transfer it to your canvas. 

Next, You will need to adjust your cut settings to work with the HTV you are using. Keep in mind that you do not want to cut through the carrier layer. I used the following settings for my scan n cut:  I set my blade at 2 with the pressure at -1 and the speed at 4 to get the results that I wanted.  Check your manufacturer for the appropriate settings for your machine.  I recommend doing a small test cut before cutting an entire section to make sure that your cutting settings are correct.   


Weeding is simply the removal of any excess vinyl around your design that you do not want transferred to your canvas. Weeding can be a little bit messy if you are not careful so take your time with this.  Trim the vinyl first if your design is considerably smaller than the vinyl to avoid waste.  I have a stiletto that I use for sewing that I also use for this purpose.  You will want to use some type of tool to help you weed the excess vinyl such as a silhouette hook, cricut hook, scan n cut hook, tweezers, craft knife or a stiletto like I did. Once you have all the excess vinyl removed from your design flip it over to see how your final design will look through the clear plastic carrier and make sure that you have weeded all of the vinyl that needs to be weeded.  

How to Make a Heat Transfer Vinyl Canvas
Weed the Design

Step 6: IRON

Before ironing your design paint your canvas with acrylic paint.  I used white.  Now that you have weeded the design flip it over so that the shiny side is up.  Center the design onto your canvas.  Iron the design using pressure and heat so that the adhesive fuses with the your canvas. Do not use steam for this project.  Make sure that you use a dry iron.  Iron 10-20 seconds for best results but follow your vinyl manufacturers instructions.  More is not necessarily better here.  Slowly start to remove the carrier sheet and see your design fused to the canvas.  If it has not fused then replace the carrier sheet and press some more. Keep in mind that some HTV are “cold Peel” which means that you must wait until the vinyl has cooled about 45 seconds before peeling off the carrier layer.  Stand back and admire your design.

How to make a heat transfer vinyl canvas
Center your Design

Step 7: Paint

I added paint to sections of my design but this is optional.  I wanted to add color to my design and since I was working with canvas it worked out beautifully.  

How to make a heat transfer vinyl canvas

How to make a heat transfer vinyl canvas

I hope you enjoyed this project. If you did sign up for our news letter and get more sewing and crafting projects delivered to your email and receive free access to our printables library. 





We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Similar Posts


  1. I downloaded your pattern for reversible chemo cap but was unable to find any measurements for the main pattern of the hat, there were measurements for the ties. But no pattern, or dimensions. Please help.would like to make these Tuesday morning in our church group.

    1. Did you click on the free pattern link at the top of the list of items that you will need? That link provides the entire pattern for adults and children. I checked the link and it is working but let me know if it is not working on your end and I will send it to you.

  2. Did you paint your canvas before or spray it with anything? I know when you use regular vinyl you need to but not sure about HTV

Looking Forward to Reading your Thoughts on this Project

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.